Summary: AU explanation of how Drusilla and Angel met. This is the story of how she became who she is, how he made her. A remix of Once Upon A Time by inalasahl for Redux IV: I Know What You Did Last Remix.
Warnings: vampiric violence, minor character deaths, character insanity
Spoilers: Season 2 (pre-Becoming)
A/N: Betaread by the lovely fififolle who helped me out last minute. :)
Thinking upon it, all those years growing up with his visits she'd thought Angelus had accepted her, that he didn't care how strange she was, after all, he was strange enough himself. Everyone is. But she knows now he cared a lot more because of that, and he cared more than he should, too. A passion that overcame him, seeing red, painting the town to match his mood. It's his only mood though.
She can see that because she once had time to contemplate, without it driving her mad, yet she is, she thinks it was inevitable really. But for a time she had her peace in her piece of garden, she had gotten so much better... Had, but not anymore. She wasn't ever normal, not even when she'd thought herself so. As a child she had unnerved others with what she said; her words haunting them.
Perhaps it was only fair he haunted her as punishment, that he tortured her mind, and finally, corrupted her body. Yet, it was everyone else who suffered most for her sins, and that had been what she had once felt sorry for. Now she barely cares, but back then...
Mother had been the first, all because she'd disobeyed him, tried to forget about him, get away from him. She'd been so silly, there is no escape from her dear Angelus. They'd been saved from a highwayman only for her mother to fall into the arms of a vampire. His true face revealed to her as grotesque, driven by a kind of madness, of blood-lust, as he sucked her feebly sobbing mother dry. All while Drusilla watched, mesmerised grimly by the scene of greed, sin, evilness - everything vile, wrong and despised – all wrapped up in the man she'd learnt to love.
Her mother hadn't recognised him from the many years ago when he'd first come into their lives, but Drusilla remembered it well. A sweet little party with dancing, he'd danced with Darla merrily but she'd known he was looking for her, told him as much when he'd sought her out upstairs, and he'd barely batted an eyelid at that. He’d been different – scary for an eight-year-old girl like her - but he had also been oddly compelling. She'd fallen in love with him gradually, at first she just adored him for the attention, she always had right up until the point she'd watched him kill mercilessly. After that it had only gotten worse. Foolish girl, she'd thought he loved her. He'd had passion, the kind that turns so quickly from love to hate, fuelling his natural anger and tipping him over the edge in a way even he could barely control. He was obsessed with her, she never left his thoughts and he made sure he could never leave hers – taking away everyone else in the process.
A couple of servants vanished, a body found in the garden. She stayed indoors, but he still came around, picking off one more servant every time, stripping away her sanity little by little – each murder encroaching further, driving her inside herself. It had been her mistake, all she wanted was to take it back, to go back to that night he'd first come and to have seen what he was.
She'd taken to singing the songs her mother had taught her, trying to forget that she was dead. She held tea parties too, the fondest memories she clung to. She wore her hair down, or with ribbons sometimes, making herself like a child, a doll. He'd played with her as if she was one, he'd once given her one. Remembering that, she'd had a tantrum, smashing it, scaring the remaining servants once more. They looked at her in a strange way now, as if they thought she might have caused the horrors that were happening. They were right, weren't they? She'd been so innocent, she hadn't known until it was too late. They were all paying for her mistake; her sin.
Her brother had been the next real victim for her. Robert was older, meant to protect her, but he couldn't do so for himself. He was gutted and laid outside the front door as her birthday present . She'd fallen down at the sight, and been taken away to rest. But it didn't stop there. She'd woken up to brittle black roses, as dead as her dear brother, an accompanying note telling her exactly why Angelus had done it – for her. Everything was for her, because of her. She hadn't stopped screaming for hours, her throat made raw, but her mind not accepting reason.
They'd all been quiet at the funeral. She'd been sedate, distant, not noticed Angelus' arrival until the large oak doors had swung firmly shut, locked from outside. He'd had free reign over them all, taking his sweet time to gut them all, with a little taste her and there. The finishing piece was when he left her alone, left her standing in the middle of the carnage, and then he'd walked away.
It had been so quiet from then on. A distant relative came to deal with the estate and she had been packed away to a convent far away to recuperate – sent here. The killings had stopped, and she risked having faith that it would be alright. She prayed alone in the gardens, in amongst the vegetable rows; comforted by the sun overhead and the dirt beneath. She felt safe for once. Eventually she requested to join the order, starting the long process towards becoming a member. It was there she planned to atone for her mistake, the fact she had placed her trust in Angelus because of her sinful ways, her own lust, and in return caused so many deaths.
Today, on the day that she is reborn, freed of her past, he has come to ruin her – to corrupt her again. She knows once again there is no escape from him, she should have remembered that, heeded it – they all suffer because of her. This time she can't return from the madness it will surely induce. She closes her eyes, wishes it away.
She remembers the screams of the Sisters, the visage of the burning buildings, beams crumbling down around them. Flickers of yellow and red on a dark blue sky. She'd fled to her haven, the precious vegetable gardens where she had found peace each day for over a year. There she had found him, in amongst the rows, tearing away all that she had worked to build, boots kicking it up. Her walls crumbling down.
It was a perfect parallel, he stood there in darkness as she had in the sun. There was nowhere else to run, there never had been, she simply hadn't known it until that point. It all seems so obvious now, she laughs at it and dances in a spiral until she's dizzy. Descending willingly into a crazed childishness. He'd come for her, and she'd been reborn a second time, exactly as he wanted her – as he had always wanted. His duty done. She was broken, completely smashed to pieces like the doll, and he was fixed, he was freed like she'd wanted to be. But they were together, they balanced out. Like his bloody hands digging in the dirt, dark on light, and the opposite, the fire light on the dark sky above the convent. Everything made sense this way, it had to, so it did. She likes this better, she doesn't care so much and no one expects her to. She lets go of guilt, absolved by Angelus, where she could not forgive her silly human self.
She likes birds, but hers never sing anymore, so she does instead; the haunting tunes of her mother. They make her smile and they make him scowl and growl to be reminded she was once ever so little and innocent. Everything inverted, day and night, good and bad, one bird freed and a new one caged to take its place.